Library Facts & Tips

Interlibrary Loan (ILL) Facts & Tips


Interlibrary Loan (ILL) is a cooperative system by which libraries share their items regionally, nationally or internationally. Interlibrary Loan (ILL) at Cincinnati Children’s offers access to books and journal articles not currently available within the Edward L. Pratt Research Library or the University of Cincinnati/OhioLINK’s collections. Costs associated with the majority of ILL transactions are offered as a shared service to Cincinnati Children’s and cooperative agreements provide us access to these materials at a reduced rate.


Below find information regarding Interlibrary Loan (ILL) requests for items not available in the Edward L. Pratt Research Library or the University of Cincinnati/OhioLINK’s collections:

  • Requests must be submitted via our online Article Request Form, by emailing
  • The average turnaround time to receive articles is 1-5 days. Turnaround time varies depending on availability, time of request, lending libraries, and other factors.
  • When articles arrive, most articles are received electronically and will be sent via email when available.
  • Sometimes articles are sent directly to you, from the lender. Often, these emails will give you a password to use to sign in to a secure server to retrieve your article, or the article will be attached to the email as a PDF. On occasion articles are in the TIFF format.
  • The average time to receive books is within 3-10 days. The length of time varies depending on availability, shipping and the responsiveness of the lending library. It is best to request books well in advance of any deadlines.
  • In the interest of maintaining good relationships with lending libraries, due dates for materials must be honored.
  • The Edward L. Pratt Research Library reserves the right to refuse to accept a copying order if, in its judgment, fulfillment of the order would involve violation of copyright law.


Ebsco Discovery Service (EDS) is a discovery software tool (more than just a library catalog) that allows users to search numerous databases, as well as the majority of Pratt Research Library resources, in one place.  Please search EDS before ordering materials via ILL. To learn more check out our EDS: Ebsco Discovery Service Libguide.


All item pick-ups will be conducted at our “Self-Check-Out Station” located outside of S9-125. Items may be returned at the station or via Pratt Library Book Drop located directly within D2 at the entrance/exit which faces Building T.